30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

WHAT DID YOU LEARN? Atlanta-based hip-hop artist Quanstar takes a sharp look at what he sees as the current state of the black community in the United States on 'Rebuilding Greenwood,' his 15th album. The rapper headlines an evening of hip-hop at the Sly Grog, Oct. 19. Photo courtesy of the artist

Twice monthly, my 30 Days Out column spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, shining a light into some less well-lit corners, where some fascinating artists schedule performances. I do my best to give ample advance notice so that you can adjust your budget and calendar in a way that lets you get to the show.

If you can scrape together $25 (plus a few more dollars for well-deserved donations/tips), you’re guaranteed four nights of great live music entertainment in Asheville in the next 30 days. Discover Americana, hip-hop and an epic battle of sorts between tributes to two of the greatest bands of the rock era.

Artist: Quanstar
Venue: Sly Grog
Date: Friday, Oct. 19, 9 p.m.
Door: donation
Born in one of hip-hop’s incubators (Compton, Calif.), today Quanstar is based in another rap hotbed, Atlanta. Though classified (and identifying as) an underground artist, he’s something of a hip-hop renaissance man, with films, books and comics to his credit. He’s prolific, too, with some 15 albums to his name. His work shows that — though you might have thought otherwise — there are still interesting loops from which to draw. And his raps (of the decidedly NSFW variety) are incisive and observant. Also on the bill: The Last Wordbenders, Dr. Ho-Tron Beats.

Artist: The Old Chevrolette Set
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m.
Door: $5
If your idea of classic country is George Jones and/or Tammy Wynette, you might find much of today’s live music options lacking. Happily, a dance band featuring a number of our region’s most talented original artists (Laura Blackley and friends) is serving up an evening of the sounds you love. High lonesome harmonies, story songs, sturdy clip-clop drums and simple/solid bass, and — best of all — keening pedal steel guitar. It’s the real deal, folks.

Photo by Chris Jensen

Artist: Dave Mason
Venue: Diana Wortham Theatre
Date: Thursday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m.
Door: $55-75
Guitarst, singer and songwriter Dave Mason would be worthy of his own entry in a music history volume if his only contribution to music had been the chestnut “Feelin’ Alight,” recorded by Joe Cocker, Grand Funk Railroad, Three Dog Night, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Isaac Hayes, Paul Weller, Lou Rawls, The Jackson 5 and countless others. But he was also a major contributor (as an on-again-off-again member) to Traffic, and racked up a number of hit albums and singles in his solo career (remember the yacht-rocking “We Just Disagree”?). Mason even took his turn as a member of the revolving-door band that is Fleetwood Mac. This show is a songs-and-stories career overview; that’s the best way to experience Mason and his music. His brilliance on guitar is generally overlooked, so watch for that as well. Gretchen Rhodes opens.

Artist: Reed Turchi
Venue: Highland Brewing Co.
Date: Friday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m.
Door: free
Reed Turchi is from Asheville, but these days he’s based in Memphis. Still, he doesn’t seem to be there all that often, either. Instead, the prolific and versatile artist is usually found on the road. He has a dozen releases to his credit, most under his own name but some with his Kudzu Orkestra or his Kudzu Choir. Turchi’s brand of blues/Americana is always compelling, always heartfelt. And though his recording methods are often deliberately primitive, his music is absolutely always well-produced. His latest is the soulful Just a Little More Faith, and you can get it on vinyl, too.

Artist: Beatles vs. Stones
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Sunday, Nov. 11, 8 p.m.
Door: $20
If you grew up in a certain era (i.e. the 1960s or ’70s), you may have been presented with a stark choice: Beatles or Stones? In those binary-thinking times, we were expected to love the music of one and despise the other. But in today’s more enlightened times we can acknowledge the brilliance of both bands’ music (well, for the Stones, at least up to around 1974). In this clever pairing, tribute bands Abbey Road Live and Satisfaction (The International Rolling Stones Tribute Show) battle it out onstage. It’s all in good fun, of course, and everybody wins.

You may also enjoy: With way more than 2500 entries and more than 550 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition, now in its 10th year. My book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now.


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About Bill Kopp
Author, music journalist, historian, collector, and musician. His first book, "Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon," published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now. Follow me @the_musoscribe

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